I’ve had this crazy realization over the last few days about why it’s so hard to parent a 3-year-old.
Like many relationship problems, it’s because you and the aforementioned child are too much alike.
Consider this common scenario in my house:
Graham: I want a snack.
Graham: I want a snack. I want a snack. I want a snack. I want a snack. [Repeat ad nauseam]
It’s maddening, right? He has no concept of the fact that he’s been refused. He keeps asking as if I never said no. He keeps asking despite the fact that we go through this dance several times a day. He does it even though I told him 5 minutes ago that he was having his LAST SNACK and no more snacks until dinner.
It reaches the point where you want to scream, “FACE FACTS. NO SNACK. DEAL.”
Now consider Scenario #2:
Me: Don’t touch that.
Graham: (no response, he continues to touch that)
Me: Don’t touch. Don’t touch. Don’t touch! DON’T TOUCH!
Do you see? I am the 3-year-old in this scenario. Graham is looking at me just the way I look at him, as if to say, “I’m touching it. The decision has been made. DEAL WITH IT.”
I think this is a rather brilliant epiphany.
I just have no idea how to use it to make life with a 3-year-old any better.